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Bunnell’s James Hayes, 22, Arrested for Carjacking an 81-Year-Old Woman

| October 19, 2011

James Hayes (FCSO)

James Hayes Jr. is a 22-year-old native of Daytona Beach who bears the literal scars of an unhappy childhood: he was shot through the waist before he turned 18. He’s been homeless for most of the past four years, except for the dozen times he’s been booked into the Flagler County jail since 2007 on a long list of petty charges: marijuana possession, underage drinking, driving on a suspended license, violating probation, shoplifting.

He’d never committed a violent crime. Until, police say, two weeks ago.

It was the late afternoon of Oct. 6. An 81-year-old woman and her 85-year-old male friend were at the Burger King on U.S. 1 near Grenada Boulevard in Ormond Beach. The woman’s friend had gone into the restaurant to get some food. The woman stayed in the car, a convertible with its top down. Sudddenly, a man she’d noticed talking on a cell phone in the parking lot jumped into the car and told her: “I need this car.” The two struggled for a moment, she putting the car back in neutral and he putting it back in gear and driving off, until he reached a nearby traffic light, when he ordered the woman to get out. The woman did so, and went to Burger King to report the theft. The man drove south on U.S. 1.

A surveillance video from a nearby Motel 6 had footage of a man matching the suspect’s description. A tip at the motel linked the suspect to an ex-patron at the motel, who’d been issued a trespass warning. That patron was Hayes. He was also linked to a woman who stayed at another, nearby motel, the Scottish Inn, and who works at Cheaters, the strip joint on U.S. 1. The woman, who has a 2-year-old child with Hayes, told deputies she hadn’t seen him since morning. She told deputies that Hayes had had drug problems in the past but was over that. Hayes had registered at Wyotech, a technical school, but deputies found out he’d been kicked out for missing too many classes.

On Monday, deputies learned that the convertible–a 1996 Chrysler Sebring–had been located by a Flagler County deputy on horseback in the wooded area at along Hazelnut Street in Bunnell. The top had been down, and the car was full of water. It had no keys and was not driveable. The license plate was missing. But the vehicle was connected to the one carjacked on Oct. 6. It was towed back to Volusia County.

The car had been 28.4 miles away from the site of the carjacking, but just 1.6 miles from the home of Hayes’s father.

Volusia County Circuit Court Judge William Parsons issued a warrant for the younger Hayes’s arrest, and this morning, Bunnell police picked him up and returned him to jail. His address had previously been listed as “homeless.” This time, it was 800 Deen Road. His bond was set at $125,000. He was later transferred to jail in Volusia County.

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19 Responses for “Bunnell’s James Hayes, 22, Arrested for Carjacking an 81-Year-Old Woman”

  1. Rain says:

    If there was ever a person crying for help it is this young man.

  2. Outsider says:

    He wouldnt be crying, or doing anything for that matter had he chosen someone other than a defenseless 81 year old woman to pick on; take me for example. Cry me a river……

  3. Area Resident says:

    I live in the area of Hazelnut and Mahogany and can guaratee this guy left the car near his dealers house. I watch the constant traffic go to and from a house on Hazelnut and it is obvious what is going on there. They can close all the “pill mills” they want but, As long as the sherriff and area residents allow the dealer to remain so will the buyers remain.

  4. ol'sarge says:

    crying for help??? good grief…lazy, homeless, and obviously no accountability or responsibility…instead of crying for help, he could have done what I did: sucked it up, worked hard, went to school, and became a professional and a contribution, not a blight, to society. I doubt he was crying for help half as much as someone’s grandmother was the day he stole the car she worked hard to earn.

  5. beginsatwashington says:

    Too close to home for me!
    There is a dirt trail between Hazelnut and Elder, just north of Mahogany. I ‘flew’ over that area using Google Earth and saw what appears to be several abandoned boats just *tucked away* on each side of this *trail*, and since I fanatically observe people’s right to privacy, I have not explored this area-yet.
    I’m going in! Screw this!
    I am in and out of my home all day long-and if I EVER come home and find a vehicle that I don’t recognize on my property there is a guaranteed confrontation which will most likely involve firearms-mine most certainly! I AM TIRED OF REPEAT OFFENDERS!
    This ALL began in Washington D C and must END in Washington D C!
    I just wish that I could end this rant on a positive note, but ! can’t find it in me! :(
    It’s a damn sorry state of affairs that we have allowed ourselves to be forced to wallow in!

  6. NortonSmitty says:

    I would love to be the first to volunteer to beat some help into this poor misunderstood boy. I really think it would be the life-changing experience he is begging for. And it probably would put a smile on the 81 year olds face too.

  7. Rain says:

    I am not saying I don’t have compassion for the 81 year old who was probably scared half to death, I do. I’m just saying had he had some guidance prior to this incident maybe he would have never done this terrible crime. The article states he has been in and out of jail a dozen times. Wasn’t there some kind of intervention program that he could have been directed to? If he doesn’t get some direction he will only escalate his criminal activity.

  8. Concerned says:

    First of all the boy had a good childhood. he was spoiled. He had, and raced dirt bikes since he was old enough to ride. He moved out on his own at 18, because its what he wanted. Since then he’s gone back home to his mothers and his fathers on several occasions. This young man has had a proper up bringing and knows better than to do what he’s done. He was raised better than that. as far as the pills go, what the hell is wrong with you people any ways ?
    As far as( Area Resident) goes here’s a comment for you. just because a person has family and friends stop by to visit from time to time, doesn’t make them a dealer. if you don’t have substantiual proof then you should keep your accusations to yourself !

  9. Concerned? says:

    Sounds like someone struck a nerve…… feeling a little guilty? Maybe next time one of these drug addicts committs a violent crime its against people like you who seem to think such behavior is ok. Karma is a funny thing!

  10. Jimmy's Mom says:

    I am Jimmy’s mom and I know what he did was very wrong. I just wanna let everyone know that Jimmy was taught right from wrong and he was raised better than that. In fact, he was raised with lots of love and devotion. I am a single parent and I did the best that I could for him. I don’t understand the addiction to these pills because I do not do drugs myself but I am trying to understand what these drugs do to people. Jimmy has been to rehab’s and my whole family has tried to help him over and beyond the call of duty. I know one thing,, the only person that can help Jimmy is himself. One thing I can say is Jimmy does have a big heart and he never meant to hurt the elderly woman. A mothers love for her child never dies so I will always love him but that doesn’t mean I have to like him and the things he does. I hope that my son can overcome his problems and become a good person that I know that he can be. Just remember that this can happen to anyone. And to a mother it’s a very painful situation but hopefully one day Jimmy’s good upbringing will come through.

  11. The Geode says:

    Had this guy been BLACK, there would have been screams of “it’s the parents fault”, “lock him away forever” and “what kind of house did he come from”. There would be NO bleeding heart sympathy. Thaere would be NO concern to “beat sense into a poor misguided boy”. There would absolutely be NO defending the parents for having a boy who committed a heinous crime like this. I love the comment section of newspapers as much as I like the stories themselves because no matter which site it is, the comment sections reads the same. Racism,biasness and bigotry.

  12. Outsider says:

    Actually Geode, I think the bleeding heart sympathy is coming from the bleeding hearts…..of which I’m not one. A criminal is a criminal in my book and deserves equal “justice” under the law.

  13. Not the race card says:

    For once we have an article about someone other than a black youth committing a crime and you have to bring it up…Damn

  14. Jesse Hays says:

    I am this Man’s cousin and we both come from the same background… I do know we both had a very ruff up bringing but Jimmy was with his mother majority of the time. i do know on the Hays family side there are a lot of mental illnesses that run through our blood such as bipolar and schizophrenia. I know i watched a lot of violence and wrong doing as I was a child and I think this had a positive and negative attribute to myself as a adult. Jimmy was given many positive opportunities by his mother and could have been a shining star but he choose the long road home! I also have done wrong in the past and had to learn from my mistakes and try to prove myself as a man and a Follower of the Lord but it has not been easy…. Nothing good comes easy I have learned! I will agree with his mother when she says only Jimmy can make a change… No jailhouse Jesus or any of you people who have never been in this man’s shoes can Judge him or set his future…he has a little girl and she will be the one to suffer from most of this! Only God can judge us and may he have mercy on all of us because we all sin!

  15. The Geode says:

    @Not the race card This isn’t “for once” someone other than a Black youth commits a crime. People of OTHER races commits crimes everyday. I am just observing the difference in the comments that is attached to Blacks and Hispanics lack a certain sympathetic charm. Had this guy been Black, the reinforcing comments, sympathy AND defense of him would have been met with venom. The “those people” comments would dominate as they do on every comment section on every news outlet site. Maybe IF some of you were exposed to racism on almost a daily basis, you would be able to notice these things. But you can’t.
    …@Jesse I have been involved in more crap, been arrested and went to prison more times than you can imagine so can the “he without sin” garbage. I have found out (sometimes the hard way) that people do what they want to do. Sometimes up-bringing isn’t enough and a parent can only do so much. Sympathy has no color. Pity has no race. People are people but according to the comment sections, nobody cares. …unless they’re White.

  16. so true says:

    correct people do what they do

  17. Kelli Also His Cusin says:

    I Miss And Love Him ALOT And If You Can’t Say Something Nice Out Of Due Respect Just SHUT UP! Please! All Of This Stupid Nonsense Is Tearing Me Apart So Just Please Please Be Quiet And Stop Being Disrespectful.

  18. bout time says:

    Bout damn time someone realize how this goes! If he was black there would have been so many comments on him and how glad they are to have him off the streets. But because he is white he was only crying out for help. Get the fuck out of here with that shit.

  19. York says:

    Would you consider this man to be young?

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